SUPPRESSED EARTHWORK UNCOVERED
Devotees of the Earthworks movement of the 1970s are in for a treat if they make it to art historian Suzaan Boettger's lecture on Jan. 15 at the New York Studio School on West 8th Street. Dubbed "Heizer's Depressions, Smithson's Upside-Down Trees and other Earthworks as Ambivalent Pastorals" -- we said she was an art historian -- the lecture promises to include details of the reclusive Earthworks artist Walter de Maria's suppressed Good Fuck piece from the pivotal 1969 "Earth Art" show organized by Avalanche editor Willoughby Sharp at Cornell University.
For Good Fuck, the provocative artist, whose New York Earth Room is a SoHo institution but who rarely has public exhibitions in this country, wrote the title phrase in a pile of dirt with the handle of a broomstick. De Maria then had a disagreement with Cornell museum director Thomas Leavitt and withdrew the work from the show -- i.e., it was swept up and thrown outside. De Maria's name and any documentation of the work were removed from the catalogue, and it has never been heard of since -- until now. Boettger uncovered some photographs of the missing piece in the Cornell archives, which are part of her New York Studio School presentation.
As the art historian notes, the incident "is not germane to the issue of artists' conflicted relations to nature, but it does make on wonder if de Maria was fucking Mother Earth or what!" Boettger's new book, Earthworks: Art and the Landscape of the Sixties, has just been published by the University of California Press.
WATTIS LEGACY AT SFMOMA
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presents "Treasures of Modern Art: The Legacy of Phyllis Wattis," Jan. 30-June 24, 2003, featuring more than 80 artworks donated to the museum by the superpatron who passed away last June at age 97. During the 1990s art boom, Wattis funded a reported $60 million in contemporary art acquisitions for the museum, raising it to four-star status, at least in the art market. The exhibition features a 1964 version of Marcel Duchamp's Fountain, Andy Warhol's Red Liz (1963) (bought for $1.7 million at Christie's in 1998), Rene Magritte's Personal Values (1952) (bought for more than $7 million at Christie's as well) and 14 works by Robert Rauschenberg, including the iconic Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953), purchased by Wattis directly from the artist.
PENNY MCCALL FOUNDATION AWARDS, 2002
The Penny McCall Foundation has awarded seven $30,000 fellowships totaling $210,000 for 2002. Winners are Matvey Levenstein (painting), Franco Mondini-Ruiz (installation/performance), Jeanne Silverthorne (installation/sculpture), Guy Richards Smit (video/performance), Lynne Yamamoto (installation/sculpture), Faye Hirsch (writer & art critic), John Perreault (critic & curator). Winners are selected by the foundation board from nominations submitted by an anonymous committee; over 20 years the foundation has awarded more than $2 million in grants.
NEW ARCHITECTURE MAG FROM HOLL
Celebrated modernist architect Steven Holl has added another job title to his illustrious resume -- magazine publisher. His new publication, called 32, is due to hit the stands later this month. In the spirit of his Pamphlet Architecture series of booklets on architectural issues and concepts, 32 is a provocative mix of images and texts (on the John Hejduk exhibition at the Whitney Museum, on Luis Barragan, "On Slutzky's Recent Work" by Kenneth Frampton). What's more, the magazine is bilingual, in English and Chinese, and is printed in Beijing. For more info, check out the website at www.32bny.com.
NEW "TRANSIENT" GALLERY FOR MANHATTAN
Laura Martin, a curator and art dealer who is a part of the team at Deitch Projects in SoHo, has launched her own gallery project -- Transient, a moveable gallery that mounts exhibitions in temporarily available spaces around New York City. "The gallery works with real estate owners looking for an opportunity to show off their spaces to potential renters," explains Martin. First up is "Gravy Boat Princess," featuring works by six artists who use imagery from childhood to address grown-up themes; participants include Ed Adler, Michael Caputo, Julia Chiang, Daniel Joseph, Koji Shimizu and Josh Slater. The show opens Jan. 10-Feb. 1, 2003, on the seventh floor of 133 West 25th Street. For more info, see www.transientnyc.com.
SACHS OUT AT FRICK COLLECTION
Frick Collection director Samuel Sachs, who brought a series of exquisite, scholarly exhibitions to the sumptuous but staid Fifth Avenue museum during his six-year tenure (including "Velazquez in New York Museums" and "El Greco: Themes and Variations") is leaving the museum. According to the New York Times, Sachs, who is 67, was deemed to be not aggressive enough as a fundraiser by the museum board. Sachs also favored an underground expansion beneath the Frick garden, also nixed by the board.
Generally speaking, art-magazine publishers are happy for any attention they can get, especially on the newsstands. But every once in a while, this sort of thing spells "trouble." The January issue of Artforum found that out the hard way after its newsstand distributor caught an eyeful of Malerie Marder's photo of a naked young girl on
page 112 (a group of four stills of friends and family sleeping from a 2003 video titled At Rest, presented as part of the magazine's "A Thousand Words" feature). Despite the fact that the image is cherubic and chaste, the cautious distributor refused to carry the magazine unless it could be polybagged, and so it was.